After the success of the British Open GP, the 1/10th IC National series would see Round 7 hosted just two weeks later at the Halifax Track. The weather forecast, combined with the short gap between rounds led to a lower than usual turnout for the event. The Saturday practice day proved to be difficult for drivers with the track remaining damp or wet for the majority of the day.
The Sunday race day again started damp but the track dried with the fastest qualifying runs coming in round 3 before it then rained again. In the 200mm class, James Conolly (Mugen Seiki/Picco MAG Tuned) would master the drying conditions to place his car on pole for the 30 minute final with Joe Kerry (Capricorn/OS Speed) and Alex Thurston (Serpent/XRD) lining up behind him.
Qualifying for the 220mm class would prove very competitive with 2017 Champion Glyn Beal (Serpent/XRD) coming out on top ahead of Devendra Mahatme (Shepherd/Picco) and Jason Fox (Capricorn/Max Power). Finally, in the 1/8th GT support class, Scott Hellawell (Serpent/XRD) would take a convincing TQ ahead of Matt Baker (Serpent/Picco) and Paul Dewsnap (Xray/XRD).
The 1/8th GT Final would start on a drying track with Baker getting the better of Hellawell on the line whilst Dewsnap held position. On only the 2nd time around, Baz Thompson (Serpent/Novarossi) would move to the front as Baker hit problems. Hellawell and Dewsnap would stay in 2nd and 3rd. On Lap 6, Hellawell would move to the front with Dewsnap and Baker following him through a few laps later. Baker would overtake Dewsnap for 2nd after around 12 laps and set off after Hellawell. After around 5 minutes of running, the heavens opened and all drivers dropped around 10 seconds per lap off the pace. Hellawell would continue to lead through the challenging conditions bringing his car home just 1 lap ahead of Thompson who had a great drive in the wet. Baker would complete the podium, a further lap down.
Next up would be the 200mm A Final with Conolly and Kerry making contact at the start. While Conolly would hold position, a mistake further around the lap allowed Thurston into the lead with Neil Wallace (Capricorn/OS Speed) in 2nd and Matthew Cook (HB Racing/OS Speed) in 3rd. Kerry would fight back after dropping to the back of the grid and take 3rd from Cook on Lap 7. He’d then continue his efforts to get to the front by taking 2nd from Wallace on the next lap. As Thurston continued to lead comfortably, Kerry began to close the gap lap by lap. Conolly would get past Wallace on Lap 11 after also having to battle his way from the back of the pack. Once Kerry had caught up to Thurston, they locked in an incredibly intense battle for around 10 minutes with a fuel stop not even separating the two drivers. Unfortunately, the heavens again opened with around 10 minutes left to run and the race became a challenge to keep the cars on track. Kerry continued on his dry tyres as Thurston pitted for damps with the latter eventually catching and passing Kerry on the penultimate lap to take the win.
Finally, the 220mm A Final would again start on a dry track with Beal leading away trouble free from Mahatme in 2nd and 4th place starter, Richard Boult (Xray/OS Speed), in 3rd. After the first fuel stops, Stewart Mcleod (Serpent/OS Speed) would begin a battle with Boult for the next 5 minutes until the rain would arrive once again. All drivers would pit for damp tyres with Boult emerging from the pits with the lead ahead of Mcleod and Mahatme which is how the top 3 would finish.
The final round of the season will take place at the Wombwell circuit in South Yorkshire on the last weekend of September.
Race report by Peter Hellawell.